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Freedom and Accountability at Work: Applying Philosophical Insight to the Real World - Book Review

This is not your typical book on management or leadership. If you are familiar with the previous works of these two authors you will know they intended it to be dramatically different. They succeeded well with Freedom and Accountability at Work. Peter Block starts this journey by writing the introduction. His task is to create a context by which his colleague’s writings can be used to understand the dynamics of the modern workplace. Read More >

Greg L.Thomas Book Review

The Baron Son - Book Review

 

The Baron Son, authored by Vicky Therese Davis, William R. Patterson & D. Marques Patton, is a book written by three innovative entrepreneurs who have surely approached the teaching of leadership and business achievement from an exceptional perspective. Most books written about leadership are penned in a non-fictional format. What you read is what you get. Little is left to the imagination as the writers directly impart their ideas from one paragraph to another. The Baron Son uses a different approach. Read More >

Greg L. Thomas Book Review

Leadership Unbound: A Primer for Leaders and Entrepreneurs - Book Review

 

Leadership Unbound is a unusual book because of its format and the diversity of its two authors. Larry Corbett is a pastor and religious leader with experience serving in 6 congregations. His experience working in a nonprofit organization gives him a distinctive perspective of leadership. Jerre Stead has experience as a CEO and board member.

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Authors Lawrence W. Corbett and Jerre L. Stead Book Review

Leadership by the Book - Book Review

This is a unique book in both its purpose and style. Blanchard, Hybels and Hodges set out to teach servant-leadership by returning to its religious roots. Leadership by the Book is written in the form of a parable or story. It portrays the interaction of three different leaders: a professor, minister and young business professional. The purpose of the book is to teach management skills and ethics by examining the example of Christianity’s founder, Jesus Christ. As the authors state in the introduction, “We believe there is a perfect practitioner and teacher of effective leadership. That person is Jesus of Nazareth, who embodied the heart and methods of a fully committed and effective servant leader.”

 

However, this book is not intended to be either sectarian or a promotional treatise on Christianity and its founder. The authors continue, “In this book we invite students of leadership from all faiths, cultures and experience to take another look at the leadership genius of Jesus.” Throughout the text Blanchard, Hybels and Hodges endeavor to cite various examples of Jesus Christ as a source for learning valuable lessons in effective leadership. They also suggest basic strategies for bringing values and vision to any organization.

 

Many books written on servant leadership are authored by intellectuals who make this essential philosophy difficult to grasp and appreciate. This book is different. Leadership by the Book can be called a primer on servant leadership and is written in an easy to understand linguistic style. Don’t let the number of pages fool you. With large print and generous word spacing, it can easily be read in one or two sittings.

 

Leadership by the Book: Tools to Transform Your Workplace

William Morrow and Company – 1999 (220 pages in hardback)

Authors Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybels and Phil HodgesISBN 0-688-17239-3


weLEAD rating: highly recommended

 

Purchase the Book Here at a Discounted Rate!

Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybel, and Phil Hodges Book Review

Leading Change - Book Review

Leading Change
- Overcoming the Ideology of Comfort and the Tyranny of Custom Read More >

James O'Toole Book Review

Leading Change - Overcoming the Ideology of Comfort and the Tyranny of Custom - Book Review

Author James O’Toole is definitely not afraid of creating controversy. His book is a refreshing approach to leadership in many ways. Stylistically and philosophically, Leading Change is a different kind of book about leaders and the natural resistance of the change process. O’Toole left a comfortable 20 year university chair in academia to begin working with the Aspen Institute. This experience was a major inspiration in writing this enterprising book.

 

Perhaps the most daring aspect of Leading Change is O’Toole’s clear repudiation of the contingency theories so prevalent today in leadership research and coaching programs. He obviously did not come to this conclusion frivolously. This work includes his observations and experience from over two decades of working with both corporate leaders and with respected mentors such as Bennis, Drucker, Gardner, DePree and others! O’Toole loudly proclaims that the contingency theories so revered today simply don’t work in the long run. He maintains that by their very design they typically destroy trust between leaders and followers. He then offers a values-based alternative, which is a primary focus of the book.

 

Leading Change begins with O’Toole drawing a number of deep analogies from a painting by James Ensor. He immediately draws you into the books theme by probing a number of profound leadership questions and scenarios analogous to paintings theme. As an author, he seeks to answer three related questions:

 

1. What are the major causes of resistance to change?

2. How can leaders effectively and morally overcome that resistance?

3. Why is the dominant philosophy of leadership, based on contingency theory, neither an effective nor a moral guide for people who wish to lead change?

 

To answer these questions O’Toole divides the book into two halves. The first half deals with leaders and the second half with followers. The main theme of his work is to seriously question the validity of contingency theory and propose the alternative of value-based leadership behavior. O’Toole writes, “Instead, values-based leadership is an attitude about people, philosophy, and process. To overcome the resistance to change, one must be willing, for starters, to change oneself. In essence, then, values-based leadership is “unnatural.””

 

If you want to read and digest a book that will challenge both you and much present thinking about leadership, this book is definitely for you!

 

Leading Change - Overcoming the Ideology of Comfort and the Tyranny of Custom

Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 1995 (282 pages in hardback)

Author James O’Toole

ISBN 1-55542-608-5

 

 

weLEAD rating: highly recommended

Book Review

The Future of Leadership - Today's Top Leadership Thinkers Speak to Tomorrow's Leaders - Book Review

 This interesting work is a collection of essays by some of the world’s most respected leadership thinkers. Contributors include Charles Handy, James O’Toole, Thomas Stewart, Tom Peters, Barry Posner and James Kouzes. These essays were first presented at a special conference held to honor Warren Bennis. Organizers labeled the conference a festschrift, a German word for a volume of essays assembled by colleagues to be a tribute to a renowned scholar. The essays were edited and divided into five parts:

 

1. Setting the Stage for the Future.

2. The Organization of the Future

3. The Leader of the Future.

4. How Leaders Stay on Top of Their Game.

5. Insights from Young Leaders.

 

The result is an insightful examination on the state of leadership today and the challenges it can expect to experience in the future. For example, Bennis writes the first essay and presents a number of challenging issues, including the widening disparity of talent among income levels, growing demographic changes between young and old and balancing the demands of work and home. James O’Toole looks at the organization of the future and remarks that leaders should view their tasks “as creating the systems under which others would be encouraged to do all the things that typically end up on the desk of the do-it-all leader.”

 

The Future of Leadership is a comprehensive examination of leadership today and tomorrow provided by a number of insightful modern day thinkers. It asks some judicious questions and dares to look into the future with assurance and confidence. Some essays are better written than others, but every reader will find some valuable material and learn a new perspective from its pages.

 

The Future of Leadership

Today’s Top Leadership Thinkers Speak to Tomorrow’s Leaders

Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 2001, (316 pages in hardback)

Edited by Warren Bennis, Thomas Cummings, and Gretchen Spreitzer

ISBN 0787955671

 

weLEAD rating: recommended

Book Review
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